2008-11-11

When Japanese Language Falls

I decided to resume this blog.

At the beginning of this week, both Mochio Umeda and Dan Kogai, who are ones of most famous blogger in Japan, mentioned a new non-fiction entitled "日本語が亡びるとき―英語の世紀の中で" (in English, can translate "When Japanese Language Falls - in the Century of English Language") written by Minae Mizumura.

This book is buzziest Book in Japan's Blogosphere. It suddenly got 1st position on best seller list at Amazon.co.jp, on Nov.11, 2008 because they are very infuluential bloggers in Japan, and many readers bought it.

I'm also one of such person who read this book recently.

Mizumura's main intention is to warn how English is already main language for people who pursure truth and wisdom even if they are non native English readers or writers, and how this phenomenon weaken non-English literatures thorough their relative indiffernce by wisdom seekers.

As you can see in my profile of this blog, I'm a Ph.D student major in Web mining, one of research area which standard language is English, as well as an open source programmer. Because of my this background, I've already been noticed how world's attention is different between English and other languages.

People like me should notice such potentaial amount of attention by language written in. In my sense, its ratio is on Japanese and English is roughly 1:10. That is, there are 10 times many potential audiences when you wrote your thoughts in English. Today, English is nearly best practical platform to share wisdoms with other wisdom seekers.

In this book, Mizumura refered an article entitled "Scan This Book" written by Kevin Kelly on New York Times. In this article, Kelly introduced imaginal "universal library" which is whole digitalized colletion of wisdoms ever published by mankind.

But, even if "universal library" become reality, we all have to understand language consists it, to get its wisdoms. Thus she asserted "universal library" will be separeted by languages, and biggest one is English. (Note: She does not believe potential of machine translation)

Unlike other media (e.g. paints, musics or movies) that beyond languages, she also asserts "words to be read" is main part of wisdoms.

At this part her interesting idea is "ranking system of ranking system". As human's life is limited, great ranking system to extract best ones is needed for wisdom seekers. To do this, meta-ranking system that evaluates existing ranking systems, will appeers in the future. It will be very interesting technology issue.

1 comment:

Waki said...

very nice article. i desided to write my blog in English.